Wellington - The All Blacks have expressed surprise that Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper escaped suspension for kneeing New Zealand captain Richie McCaw in the face during Saturday's Tri-Nations Test at Brisbane.
Cooper was cited over the incident in the 54th minute of the match won 25-20 by Australia but was exonerated by South African judicial officer Jannie Lubbe who found his action was accidental.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said on Monday the outcome of the hearing, which might have seen Cooper suspended for the opening matches of Australia's World Cup campaign, was surprising.
He said "I thought he deliberately kneed Richie McCaw in the face and I think everybody else did too. I'm very surprised at the result of the judicial hearing, let's put it that way."
McCaw said "mate, nothing surprises me with judiciaries these days."